Talking Points: Moment Of Week As Keane Family Light Up Ascot With Black 

Colin Keane embraces his father Gerry after Crystal Black lit up the royal meeting with victory |


You can keep your fashionistas, foodies, royal processions and Group 1 races. Give me the scenes that followed the success of Crystal Black (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes any day of the week instead. 

Win, lose or draw, the Wear A Pink Ribbon Syndicate who own Crystal Black came to Ascot for a party. Boy did their rapidly progressive gelding provide them with something to celebrate and the scenes that followed his success for the father and son team of Gerry and Colin Keane will go down as many people's highlight from the week. 

Gerry is the definition of a small trainer. Described as a “salt of the earth fella” by one of the syndicate members shortly after the race, the County Meath-based handler operates with a select number of horses. 

For him to hit the back of the net with a Dermot Weld castoff is the stuff of dreams. For his son Colin to partner the winner added ten-fold to the experience. 

“He's just an unbelievable horse,” Gerry said afterwards, before joking, “and the gossen wasn't too bad either! 

“I can't believe it. I never thought I'd be at Royal Ascot. The nearest I thought I'd get to it would be watching it on telly. It's great.”

The gossen, of course, rarely gets it wrong. He's the perennial champion jockey in Ireland and has ridden his share of big-race winners-including Classics and Group 1s-but Keane described Friday's success for his father as being up there with his best moments in the game.

“That's as good a kick as I've ever gotten out of riding a winner-especially for the old man. I can't put it into words and I'm sure he won't be able to, either, but it's a very special day.”

Guineas Winners Looking Vulnerable

After Notable Speech (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) bombed out in the St James's Palace, Elmalka (GB) (Kingman {GB}) confirmed the suspicion that the Guineas form is open to interpretation when finishing outside of the frame in the Coronation Stakes. 

It's hard to see Notable Speech finishing ahead of the St James's Palace winner Rosallion, who finished second to him in the 2,000 Guineas, again this season. 

Similar applies to Elmalka, who probably benefited from a pace collapse in the fillies' Classic. She ran with credit in the Coronation but was never a threat to Porta Fortuna (Ire) (Caravaggio). 

There's no doubt that the Guineas form is holding up but it appears as though the beaten horses from Newmarket have improved past the respective winners. 

Big Bets Landed On The O'Brien-Trained Runners

If you're fond of betting content, Simon Nott is worth a follow on X. His blogs are engaging and provide an insight as to what goes on in the betting jungle at all of the big meetings. Nott shared four six-figure bets from the Star Sports pitch this week. 

The first was £100,000 on Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) at 13-8. Bingo. The second was another £100,000 at 2-1 Fairy Godmother (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}). Nice. The third? You guessed it. Another £100,000 on an Aidan O'Brien-trained runner, this time Opera Singer (Justify). No dice. 

The same punter [presumably] went in again on Diego Velazquez (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) and, while he was beaten, is showing profit £162,500 for the week which is, eh, better than most [and me!].

McCartan Brothers Having A Beano

Don't say you weren't told. Just as Jim McCartan told us that Thursday's Norfolk winner Shareholder (Not This Time) was above average before selling the colt at Arqana, his brother Paul said similar in these pages about the Albany winner Fairy Godmother (Ire) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}). 

On a serious note, Jim and Paul have knocked it out of the park this week. Hats off, gentlemen. 

Inisherin An Important Stallion Prospect

Fair play to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, who revealed that Commonwealth Cup winner Inisherin (GB) (Shamardal), Elite Status (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) and Rosallion would be staying in training next year. 

But when Inisherin does go to stud, there is no doubt that he will make an important stallion. The influence of Shamardal has been seen all week through the exploits of Blue Point (Ire) and more. 

Being from the last crop of the late stallion, Inisherin will undoubtedly be popular. Hopefully there is a lot more to come on the track before that day arrives.

Old Dog For The Hard Road

Youth has been to the fore this week at Ascot with Donnacha O'Brien, George Boughey and Billy Loughnane bagging winners but wasn't it cool to see Joe Fanning getting in on the action when partnering Pilgrim (GB) (Havana Grey {GB}) to victory in the Palace Of Holyrood House?

Fanning is not someone you would associate with banging in sprint winners but, in doing so, the 53-year-old showed he can still mix it with the younger guns. He's a great advertisement for longevity. 

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